Rauner discusses pension reform, plan to fund CPS

CHICAGO -- Governor Rauner said Friday the Grand Bargain is on hold, but he thinks Springfield can do pension reform.

Rauner lobbied for a Republican plan that would change government pensions in exchange for Chicago Public School relief.

Under the proposal CPS would get 215 million dollars.

“Now we finally have a pension reform package that everybody can agree on.,” Rauner said. “So now we can move forward, we can get CPS the 215 million dollars they’ve requested this year so that they do not have to have a crisis, they do not have to close early.”

Last summer, Springfield worked out a deal to provide CPS with pension help. But last December, the governor vetoed the bill, saying Democrats had walked away from tying the money to pension reform.

At the time, Mayor Emanuel called the veto “reckless and irresponsible.”

CPS announced 46 million dollars in midyear cuts.

But now Rauner says 26 House Republicans will back comprehensive pension reform and he wants them to work with Democrats to pass the original deal.

“I hope that they will do it because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool responded saying:

Gov. Rauner continues to follow the Donald Trump playbook, diverting attention from his immoral racial discrimination against nearly 400,000 children of color at CPS. That is why his administration is in court today responding to a civil rights lawsuit. Equal funding for poor African-American and Latino children is not a bargaining chip for his political agenda.

Democrats, including Mayor Emanuel, say CPS needs permanent pension help. But the governor says Democrats should take the offer that’s on the table now